Is vibration a health risk at work?

Yes. Anyone who is regularly and frequently exposed to high levels of vibration can suffer permanent injury.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says that nearly two million workers are at risk from hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) in Great Britain and it is a serious and disabling condition which is completely preventable.

Whole-body vibration (WBV) is another serious and preventable risk – this is where vibration is transmitted through the seat or feet of employees driving machinery and work vehicles over rough and uneven surfaces as a main part of their job. Large shocks and jolts can cause health risks including back pain.

Regulations aimed at protecting workers from risks to their health and safety resulting from exposure to vibration transmitted to their hands and arms and their whole body came into force in 2005. The full text of the Control of Vibration Regulations 2005 is available on the GOV.UK website.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.